Learning to Eat Healthy for a Lifetime
Our cafeteria is changing students' lives. Once accustomed to diets of processed fast foods, Lopez students K-12 now dish up fresh salad greens, whole grains, bountiful veggies, fresh fruits and island-grown beef in the school lunch line.
A Remarkable Success Story
The story begins in our L.I.F.E. garden. When children get their hands in garden soil; connect with the seasons and the earth; and plant, tend, harvest, prepare and eat organic food, their appreciation for healthy, nutritious meals begins to grow, too. Staff and faculty love to swap garden stories: like the time the football team gave the kitchen staff a standing ovation for preparing teriyaki stir-fry with campus-grown Asian greens.
Our L.I.F.E. Garden harvest, together with other organic produce and locally raised meat, is the major source of wholesome and fresh food for the Lopez cafeteria. Students waiting in line for their lunch may snack on bowls of vegetables they planted and harvested such as carrots, beans and broccoli. “The carrots from the garden taste really sweet,” says one enthusiastic first grader, who is learning at a young age that healthy means delicious.
Our healthy cafeteria is built on these principles:
All children deserve safe, nutritious, delicious food.
Well-nourished children are better able to learn.
Positive childhood eating habits affect lifetime health.
Healthy children are the foundation of a healthy society.
“The garden program helps our children see where real food comes from: their sandwich, the tomato, the wheat, the lettuce. They plant the seed; watch it germinate; harvest, prepare and eat the food; then collect the seed for the next growing season. It's a powerful teaching cycle that seems to be creating lasting change.” —Lorri Swanson, Lopez School K-5 garden teacher